Friday, 7 October 2011

The Village Green

Yes we still have a village a Green; it has not been built on yet, maybe because it’s a triangular shape with the lych gate to the church on the north side and the village school on the south side just across the road.

As I remember it when going to school, it had not been fenced off and the large triangle of grass would taper off to the edge of the road that passes through the village, the road having a junction branching off west side of the green running off down to the Ford, that is why our village name and the local town ends in Ford.

To the east side of the green are two cottages known as the spite cottages, these were built to hide the view from the vicarage to the large black and white Hall half a mile away. The occupants of the Hall possibly the lord of the manor who owned the estate at that time did not get on with the vicar, and always thought the vicar was spying on him. So these two cottages were built to spoil his view, built out of spite, and there after became known as the Spite cottages, they are Church Cottage and Ivy Cottage.

In the 1940’s there was no public bus serve to the village, then when it did come it only called at one end of the village at a road junction near the Old Hall, as I said half a mile away from the Green. After a short while it was agreed that the bus service would drive up the length of the village and turn on the green opposite the school.

This worked very well all summer until the winter set in, these old double deck busses did not have very good lock and they took the liberty of taking a wide sweep to turn in one circle without the need to reverse. As you can imagine, the front tyre of the bus bit into the grass on the green forming a muddy rut where all the folk attending Church on a Sunday had to pick there way through. This had got to be stopped.

Another regular annual visitor to the green was the Council tar pot, which was parked once a year for about a week while they repaired all the local roads. Originally this had shafts on and pulled by a shire horse, then latterly had a short drawbar to replace the shafts to be pulled by a council truck. The tar pot was on steel wheels all well preserve with the liberal dressings of spilt tar, it resembled a small steam engine with it tall chimney coming out in a elbow at the front of the tar pot, there was a lid on the top where blocks of tar could be lobbed in, in big solid blocks to be melted down over the fire box the was below.

 For some reason this was always parked in the west corner point of the green out of the way, when the men came they would rake out the ashes and when hot enough would test if the tar had melted down the length of the hand lance that the tar was sprayed through,. Over the years this tar soaked into the ground in that area along with the ash from the furnace, and when that practice eventually stopped it eventually grassed over and blended into the green.

So it would be in the 1950’s that it was decided that the Green had got to be fenced off, this stopped the buses from swinging round, the grass area would be reduced and an equal area was paved with tarmac, the kerb and pavement formed and a row of concrete posts put in with a fancy chain hanging low between them and two gateways in the length. From the one gate a path was paved up to the lych gate and through the other was the access to the village pump.

A commemorative tree was requested to be planted on the green, and with permission granted by the parish council and a hole was dug near to where the old tar pot used to be parked some years before. The tree was planted and staked for support, it lasted through the summer of planting then the following spring it failed and did not survive, in all it was replanted another two times with the same result, and no one had twigged the real reason was the ground was polluted from the remnants of cleaning out the tar pot boiler.

The Village School is directly opposite just across the road, and at one time the Green was used as a playground for the older children at break times

Quote from

 A village green is a common open area which is a part of a settlement. Traditionally, such an area was often common grass land at the centre of a small agricultural settlement, used for grazing and sometimes for community events. Some may also have a pond, originally for watering stock.

The green is traditionally at a central location and provides an open-air meeting place for the people of a village, for example at times of celebration, or for public ceremonies. May Day festivities are traditionally located at the green, with the Maypole erected at its centre.

The common use of the term village green reflects a perception of a rural, agricultural idyllic past. However the actuality of such locations always has been very wide, and can encompass woodland, moorland, sports grounds, and even — in part — buildings and roads. They may also be positioned far from the centre of the community, especially if the community has moved, or been absorbed into a larger settlement.


An unwelcome brush with the Law 36

A Sunday morning brush with the Law

One Sunday morning ten years ago I was taking a load of rotted muck with the tractor and trailer down to an allotment in town, on the way I had to pass the police depot along side the M6 motorway.

As I was loaded I did a rolling exit out of a road junction, but unfortunately a motorway patrol car was just coming down off the bridge, (they were just going for a tea break, and thought I had no brakes), I carried on over the bridge and in another quarter mile, then a siren started blasting and headlights and beacons flashing. They pulled diagonally across the road in front of me, as if to test my brakes, the brakes were spot on and did not ram them as they deserved.

One officer went round the outfit and found nothing wrong, so I was loaded into the back of the patrol car and locked in. I might add that around rotted damp muck ruck ya boot get mighty clogged up with muck and all this went into the back of the patrol car. They took a note of my insurance they had already seen the up to date tax disc. So there nothing else to do but breathalyse me, they said keep blowing, blow, blow, blow, all I had drunk, as all I ever drink was tea.

Not able to pin anything on me or the outfit, one got out and unlocked the door to let me out, can you imagine a pair of size twelve wellington boots well clogged up with muck, and the two front seats well pushed back for their comfort, left me no option but to wipe my feet on the way out.

I think they were too lazy to find anything on the motorway to make up their daily quota and found me as a soft touch. It was just a pity it was not pig muck, they would have remembered that.

Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
Robert Heinlein  (1907 - 1988)